A Student Perspective: Chris and Lydia

July 30, 2015

Health Partners is proud of the relationships we hold with our students.  Whether with us for a day, week, or month, the Clinic values the opportunity to make a lasting impact on lives of these young to-be medical professionals.  What’s even better is when these students give to us as much as we give to them.  Sometimes they are the ones who make a longer lasting impact.  Chris and Lydia, our pharmacy externs for the month of July, did just that. We were certainly sorry to see them go, however we pray that we left them the experience that they left us.  In their words, we present the Student Perspective for the month of July:




I don’t know if I can express in a few words how appreciative I am for having had this opportunity to do a rotation at the Health Partners Free Clinic (HPFC).  In the beginning of my rotation I was not sure what my involvement would be at the clinic or how I would fit in.  I am pleased to say I was treated as part of the team and my experience was very rewarding.

It was very refreshing to see the level of detail and caring that Health Partners places on each patient. The clinic provides medical care for the uninsured and under-insured without any predispositions.   Giving one-on-one time with the patients and listening to them to get to the root of their needs is paramount at the clinic.  When we treat the patient we never think of the patient’s medical care in a monetary sense.    Patient assessments are based solely on their needs.   It is a great feeling to be able to not only provide medical care but also peace of mind to the patient that their well-being is more of a priority than medical costs.

I can truly identify with many of the patients especially those who are not native to this country.  Having come from Vietnam myself as a refugee and having the same or similar experiences as several of the patients has afforded me an opportunity to interact on a one-on-one basis with the patient and make them more comfortable with me in order to gain their trust and overcome fears that may prevent them from disclosing important medical information.  The Health Partners Free Clinic places a strong emphasis on detailed interaction with patients as this is paramount to providing the proper medical services and care.

There is an increasing demand for no cost or low cost medical services.  This is a Godsend for the patients and a huge help to the community.  Although there are some days were it seems like there are not enough hours to get everything done it is time well spent and it is this type of environment that makes me feel good about my decision to become a pharmacist.




Back in February when I was choosing my rotations I chose Health Partners Free Clinic in Troy because I figured it would be a unique experience. I thought I would expand my knowledge about disease states and counseling for the month like my other rotations then move on. However, what I didn’t realize was the true impact this clinic would have on me both as a person and future pharmacist. This clinic truly is a special place operated by some of the most genuine and caring people I have met. It seemed like every day new people came to volunteer their time and knowledge to help better the lives of members of the Miami County community. Being able to collaborate with nurses, doctors, phlebotomists, nurse practitioners and numerous other health care professionals in order to provide the highest level of care was an amazing opportunity. The clinic is funded completely by grants and donations which provides a different aspect to health care. It was interesting to put our heads together as a health care team to generate the best solutions for our patients based on the resources available.

Along with the incredible staff and volunteers at Health Partners, is the wonderful patient population. As a free clinic, this site offers their services to the underinsured and uninsured population of Miami County. Initially, I thought each counseling session would just involve going over the patient’s medication lists, but on my very first day I realized it would be so much more. Each patient I interacted with had their own unique story and I felt honored to listen and learn from them. Not only was I expanding my clinical knowledge, but I was learning how to connect with patients personally and base my recommendations on each individual. It was amazing how much the patients would open up to us and the higher level of care that allowed us to provide for them.

This rotation has given me the skills to be a great pharmacist. I was able to take part in individualized care alongside other health care professionals and learn how to form relationships with patients. The dedicated staff at Health Partners has inspired me to always provide the highest level of care possible regardless of the circumstances. Throughout the rest of my rotations and time as a pharmacist, I will empathize with patients and listen to and support them because every patient deserves respect and access to quality care. I will go beyond just giving medications based on disease states and lab values and truly recommend treatment for each individual patient. Overall, my time at Health Partners has been incredible and I cannot thank each staff member, volunteer, and patient enough for the impact and blessings this experience has given me.